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RIC's Harley Mitchell Honored as "Inspiring College Student Leader"

Photo (l-r) Paul Brooks, coordinator of the president's staff, Eva Neira, executive assistant student affairs, Harley Mitchell '14, President Nancy Carriuolo and Gary Penfield, vice president student affairs

Photo (l-r) Paul Brooks, coordinator of the president's staff, Eva Neira, executive assistant student affairs, Harley Mitchell '14, President Nancy Carriuolo and Gary Penfield, vice president student affairs

Harley Mitchell ’14, an elementary and special education major at Rhode Island College, today was honored as an “inspiring college student leader” as she was presented with a 2013 Newman Civic Fellows Award.

Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo announced the award at a ceremony attended by several of the college’s top administrators. She said the Newman Civil Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders “who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.”

Carriuolo went on to explain, “Through service, research and advocacy, Newman Civic Fellows are making the most of their college experiences.  They come to understand themselves, the root causes of social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.”

Mitchell, of North Smithfield, R.I., is a 2010 graduate of North Smithfield High School. She currently is a junior at Rhode Island College, majoring in elementary education and special education with a concentration in mild-to-moderate and severe-to-profound disabilities. She also is pursuing a minor in coaching.

Mitchell is a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, which is dedicated to recognizing leaders in residence halls. She also is a member of the Weber Hall Council, where she is a resident assistant. She also works as a clerical assistant in Student Affairs at the college. In addition, she coaches the Metrowest Volleyball Club for girls age 15, and she is a staff member at the Autism Project of Rhode Island.

Carriuolo nominated Mitchell for the award on the recommendation of Gary Penfield, vice president for student affairs. Carriuolo noted the award is named for the late Frank Newman, a former president at the University of Rhode Island and one of the founders of the Campus Compact, of which Rhode Island College is a member.

Mitchell is one of only 129 college students to receive a 2013 Newman Civil Award, Carriuolo said.  “These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can – and does – play in building a better world.”